Tag Archives: growing vegetables

fat girl slim and the cavewoman


images from google





Maybe even cavewomen were fat. Nowadays there is the caveman diet “Paleo”, caveman/woman training ( just in case you need to chase away a nasty lion or wrestle a buffalo to the ground). I’m not sure where my sugar-free/weight watchers points healthy lifestyle fat girl slim plan fits in but I guess the nearer we get to unprocessed, naturally grown or sourced foods the better. Home grown veggies and free range meat where possible hopefully eliminates some of the chemicals and all of the hormones that get added to our food. Drinking water has to be a better option than tooth or gut rotting coke. On Saturday I won a bottle of a “sports’ drink on a tombola stall for charity. The label promises extra performance and re-hydration, the contents are water and sugar at an inflated price.

Looking around I see people of all shapes and sizes. And then I watch the Athletics on the TV and what do I see there? Not a uniform group of people all the same shape and size. Athletes come in different sizes too! Watch the women’s tennis at Wimbledon and see the range of body shapes. We have all heard of ectomorphs (curvy) and endomorphs ( beanpole), of apples and pears. Our genes, environments and habits combine to create us. Sometimes it seems like the diet industry would have all women believe that we should be a perfect size 10 or 12, but what would look good on me would look silly on my petite friend. We all know this, it isn’t difficult. And yet I think we all slip into that mythical world where if we do the ‘right’ diet and the perfect exercise plan we will somehow get it right.

image shutterstock

Well come on girls lets back away from the edge of sanity here. I know what I want and I’m pretty sure you want something similar. I want to be the best me I can be. I’m not sure I quite know what that looks like yet but I bet you could tell me. Just like I could tell you when you look your fabulous best. Sometimes it takes a loving outside eye to see us in our true glory. A friend of mine gave me this idea recently, I think our friends see us for who we really are and who we were meant to be all rolled into one. True friends can see the ultimate limitless possibilities for us where we get stuck in everyday. So lets support each other in this critical, diet obsessed, one size fits all world.

google images

Take a look at this wonderful gallery of people and the range of BMI ( Body Mass Index) they cover. And then decide if the numbers matter that much? Or is it how we look and feel and live? BMI and what is \”Normal\’?

Fat Girl Swim


Ha! I crack myself up sometimes. No, seriously I love swimming. I know I’ve mentioned this before here but I’m  having a little resurgence of enthusiasm so bear with me. The last couple of weeks has seen us ( me and Mrs) heading to the pool at least a couple of times a week in the evening. The pool we go to is part of a Holiday Inn so its quiet except for the school holidays when a lane or two is given over to families for splashing and fun stuff. We meanwhile just potter up and down the lanes. I do 20 mins or half an hour. So for instance, tonight the Mrs came home from a long day at work and I’d been busy clearing out our back room to make it habitable again. We were both tired and hot as summer is here for this week. So we had our dinner outside and a half hours TV then off we went. It’s that getting off the sofa in the first place that’s the problem. If I didn’t have the Mrs to kick my butt I would probably have stayed put and watched Holby City and if she didn’t have me she would have carried on nodding off and pretending to be awake.

Every month the gym/pool staff put together a newsletter with diet and exercise tips, tricks and words of wisdom. This month it looks at myths of diet and exercise. One or teo made me smile or nod in agreement so I thought I’d share them here adapted a little by moi:

Water based exercises are for old people or those with injuries. hey we know this isn’t true don’t we? Even top athletes integrate water based exercises into their fitness programs

Fat people don’t benefit from exercise. LOLOL as they say.In fact, and get this, obese people who participate in regular exercise have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than sedentary individuals, regardless of weight! That one really ROCKS.

and finally re exercise is this one : Crunches will make my abs visible – Well, hellooooooooo. First we have to find them. That means removing the fat with good food and some movement so those lovely muscles can shine through

Now for the food myths.

Skipping meals helps you lose weight skipping meals is just not something I do, in the past maybe but now, nohow, no way. I know that skipping meals is a sure-fire way to a blood sugar crash which leaves me feeling shaky and starving and far more likely to eat too much next meal or even next day. It also can slow down your metabolism which means you burn fat even more slowly and store more fat because the body goes into starvation mode.

All fat is the same – oh no it isn’t ( cue Panto Dame). Stick with oily fish, olive , sunflower and flax oil, unsaturated fats which are good for your body and your brain. Ditch the saturated stuff which heightens cholesterol and can increase risk of heart disease.

Healthy Foods are more expensive – I know this can be a thorny one. Eating all organic un processed food can seem to cost more. Growing some veggies helps. Farmers markets are great. Making food from scratch really doesn’t take more time than cooking a microwave instant meal and it tastes way better and you get much more!   

Well that’s enough from me, see where swimming took me?

New Potatoes and Curly Carrots


It is a gorgeous summer day and I spent the afternoon tidying up the garden, mowing the grass ( I daren’t use the term ‘lawn’ under the Trades Descriptions Act), clipping the hedge with some help from son 3 and harvesting veggies.

This is our first crop of carrots, all curly and feathery topped. I wish I could do a scratch and sniff post so you could inhale the carrotty scent as they came up from the ground. I squeal with excitement at every vegetable that materialises. I also picked some tiny baby beetroot.

Tonight we are going to eat tuna steaks with steamed new potatoes, curly carrots and the tiny bettroots just for fun.

And after we are having strawberries and bluebrries which are right now marinading in a couple of spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar. Apparently they taste amazing with balsamic and fresh pepper so we will see. I didnt add the brown sugar as I know the fruit will be sweet enough for us! And psssst Im not doing sugar ( grin).

Food straight from the garden feeds the soul not just the body. Good food shared in good company makes your heart sing. I am lucky, I have both.

Fat Girl Slim takes it at a snails’ pace


Image from http://international.stockfood.com/image-picture-Live-snails-on-lettuce-in-bowl,-salad-servers-961652.html

Walking is getting easier – I can walk further without being out of breath, I can walk more quickly and I don’t need my walking poles. My knee is feeling better too. I have been for an X Ray on it today and have to go back to see the Dr. in a few weeks. My guess is it is arthritis and she thinks so too but the X Ray is just to make sure. I read some advice about arthritis and lifestyle. Losing weight is good of course, less strain on the joints. And so is exercise, more not less with walking and swimming being great. My skin is bad at the moment so I’m not risking the chlorine right now but I can walk. So the dog is happy too. We are both doing better with our joints. His recipe was lose weight, take joint supplements and walk more. I might try the joint supplements too.

I am losing weight. My magic formula is do some exercise and watch what I eat. I am feeling focused again so I’m capitalizing on that. Today at work we were having a bring and share lunch. I decided I’d take some sandwiches for myself plus some flavoured water and some biscuits to share. I had wholemeal buns with turkey and our own lettuce in. The lettuce was fresh from the garden on my way out. I gave it a quick shake and put it in my sandwich. As I bit in there was a crunch and I thought I’d lost a filling. Oops it was a snail. Aaargh. Can’t get much fresher than that.

There was lots of fruit as well as homemade cakes and puddings. I had melon and strawberries and a few grapes. I looked at the homemade lemon cake. But the cost is too high. I eat that and I am on a downward slope of wanting more tomorrow. And I feel so much better.

I talked about joining a diet class. I am in two minds about it. And my plan was for Wednesday nights. Last week I had a committment to a curry with colleagues. Tomorrow we have tickets from a friend for a play of ‘Kes” at the local Repertory Theatre. Can’t say no to a free night at the theatre on our new slimmer budget now, can we? And my thinking about going to a class was to give myself a kick-start again. But I am a bit worried about the fitting in to a set way of eating based on another diet guru’s plan. So for this week I will carry on the way I am. It seems to be working. Snails and all.

One potato, Two potato, Three Potato, Four ..


One potato

Two potato

Three potato


Five potato

Six potato

Seven potato



Digging up our first ever potato crop yesterday was truly like finding golden treasure. To put the fork in and turn the soli over then find a perfect new potato just made me shriek and grin! I dug up just enough for dinner for last night and we savoured every delicious, earthy, sweet mouthful. And yes, they really do taste different. We ate them with salmon, some lettuce from the garden mixed with sugar snap peas, cucumber and mint ( also from the garden). We had a large jug of iced water with lemon and mint, added butter to the potatoes. Heaven.

I love potatoes.The daughter of a friend of mine, who is now in her twenties, asked Santa for a bag of potatoes ‘All for herself” when she was 7. She would have loved these!

You can do so much with a potato. Boil it, mash it, fry it, make chips and fries with it, bake it, add cream and onion and garlic and Frenchify it deliciously.Make Bubble and Squeak ( potatoes and cabbage leftovers English) or Colcannon (Bacon and potato leftovers Irish), Potato Cakes ( Welsh), Champ or Tattie Scones ( Scottish).Use it in an ‘egg’ and spoon race. Play counting games with it. It must be one of the most maligned vegetables, blamed for making us fat when it is a solid satisfying complex carbohydrate which releases sloooow sugars to keep us steady between meals.

This was my first foray into potato growing, there are lots more out there just waiting to be savoured and eaten. The onions are coming on too, as are the carrots and beetroot. So, One potato, Two potato ….


Of Cabbages and Kings …


“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

 Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland, ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’

The vegetable patch is exploding with growth. Spring cabbage and potatoes are vying for space. The carrot tops are waving like a feathery forest. Feeling tired tonight and needing a simple but ‘good for you’ meal we had fresh new potatoes with butter, chicken gently fried in some olive oil and with organic stock cubes and tarragon for flavour and a spring cabbage cut straight from the garden.

It never ceases to amaze me just how miraculous it feels to grow, cut and eat your own vegetables. I know I am not naturally ‘green fingered’ and I don’t honestly know that much about gardening, but I am learning by trial and error. I love the fact that the earth is generally so forgiving. I know that to get ‘perfect’ show specimens it is probably wise to follow the rules, whatever they may be, but there is so much joy in having planted those little plug plants of cabbage, weedy as they looked and now to have big green plants and eat them!

Yes it tasted delicious.

I’m growing vegetables – making raised beds


So today was the day. First the ugly truth, or ‘What Has Happened Under There?’ since last year    

I want to grow more vegetables this year. Last year I did ok for a beginner with courgettes, a few beans, peppers ( 3), a fantastic pumpkin and some tomatoes, lots of spinach and cut-and-come-again lettuce. They all grew in pots on the patio whilst I tried to get the side of the garden under control!    But now of course I want more. Potatoes and onions, broccoli and carrots, broad beans and green beans, squashes and fat juicy tomatoes. I want to be able to supply us with veggies. But first I need to get some plots sorted.

My research tells me that raised beds are the way to go. Less digging and warmer soil means growing starts earlier . I have pink fir apple potatoes just begging to go in the ground.

As you can see, there is work to be done!  Next came removing the sheeting and , sigh of relief, it did what it ‘says on the tin’! The ground was much easier to dig, most of the weeds have gone and those pesky dandelions that were left were easier to pull than I anticipated.

My plan is to use some of the large pile of old house bricks sitting in the garden from when we had our house extended a couple of years ago. I like free resources!

Clearing the ground still took some work. Old bricks and edging stones were buried in there and ivy seems to have got everywhere, coming over from next door! I spent most of the morning on it, should count as a good all body work-out! Who needs the gym?!

After a break for lunch and a cuppa I enrolled DS (2) in a bit of light manual labour and wall building. We got the edges flat-ish and used bricks 2 high to make the bed. So far I’ve filled it with the compost I have and some chicken poo pellets. Now I want to source some well-rotted horse manure and some more compost and we will have a yummy planting area. The soil is poor and clay-y so the more goodness I can get into it before we start the better.      

Sadly we sacrificed a few tulips but they are gorgeous on the windowsill and the bulbs will be replanted elsewhere.

Oh and the end part of the bed we have delegated for short root plants as we found an old pathway under there! I’m pretty pleased with the result so far

And now for a cup of tea and 2 Scottish oatcakes with PB.